Five successful entrepreneurs share the quotes that helped them persevere and work toward entrepreneurial success.
Even Walt Disney was fired from an early gig at a newspaper after his editor told him he “lacked imagination and originality.” Sounds crazy after so many decades of nonstop Disney mania, right? Go figure. If you forget your purpose and listen to the critics, you could end up trading in your dream for theirs.
Getting by with a little help from a quote
As outlined in the intro, quotes are powerful stuff. One that means a lot to me comes from the author of the New York Times bestseller “Life’s Little Instruction Book”: “Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Brown’s inspiring outlook on life has helped me persevere through the challenging ups and downs inherent in starting and growing a business.
No doubt you’ve heard the doom-and-gloom stats about how many startups fail, and if you’re mired in the trenches, you’re likely tempted to give up multiple times a day. Why don’t you? Because that’s not who you are. You’re an entrepreneur, after all. Sometimes, though, it helps to be reminded of your strength and resilience.
The following five quotes, selected by five successful entrepreneurs, have also stood the test of time. They’ll remind you how crucial it is to stay the course and tune out those critics in the peanut gallery.
1.- ‘You’re gonna die.’ — Gary Vaynerchuk
Grim as it is, this is one quote that has always stuck with him. Although he’s shared this view since he was young, encapsulated into one tiny statement by Vaynerchuk, a winemaker and digital marketing guru.
The sentiment behind “you’re gonna die” isn’t about embracing death, necessarily, but making the most of life by doing what you love and chasing your wildest dreams. Over time, this quote has become one of his biggest motivators.
2.- ‘When you’re backed into a corner with seemingly no way out…it’s the most creative you’ll ever be.’ — Dale Crighton
Backed into a corner and facing major delays in revenue, inspired to brainstorm every crazy idea he could think of. Eventually, he created a structure that streamlined the company’s processes and set it up for future success. Overcoming that obstacle as a thrill rather than a detriment.
3.- ‘Those who never give up will eventually surpass those who do.’ — Steve Jobs
I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance….You’ve got to have an idea or a problem or a wrong that you want to right, that you’re passionate about; otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.
4.- ‘The most effective way to do it is to do it.’ — Amelia Earhart
A big believer in not overthinking or trying to plan around potential mishaps. When you launch a startup or build a new business, you’re practically always doing something for the first time. So it’s important not to overanalyze to the point of paralysis or delay.
Quote from pioneering aviator Earhart is about taking action and learning from your actions (which may indeed be mistakes), rather than trying to come up with the perfect plan. As an entrepreneur, you’ll face hard choices and decisions constantly, but you must remember that “doing” is ultimately the answer to many of them.
5.- ‘You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.’ — Les Brown
We are always telling ourselves we are going to do something. The roadblock is usually the ‘but’ — oftentimes, we’re waiting on that perfect moment to get started, that certain amount of money, or someone to give us a chance.
The best way to grow as a human or to grow a business is to get started and learn from trial and error. “Experience usually wins.”
Ask successful entrepreneurs and founders that you know which quotes have inspired them along the way. I’m willing to bet you’ll hear some enthusiastic recollections about when they first heard that compelling message from whomever it was, and what a big role it has played in their success. Maybe someday you’ll be the one asked by an up-and-coming entrepreneur to provide your favorite inspirational quote.